Love it, hate it, or tolerate it, the Occupy Movement has made a lasting mark in 2011. I’m of the ‘tolerate it’ camp most of the time (as long as they don’t block the Metro they can camp out as long as they please), but the Washington, DC’s McPherson Square installation of the Occupy movement actually rose in my esteem December 21st. As I was walking back from lunch to my j-o-b (shh, don’t tell the protestors!) I could not help but stop when I noticed theOccupiers had managed to put together a pretty impressive concert.
Immediately adjacent to the Occupiers’ make-shift medical tent and in front of the outdoor market/library, some entrepreneurial soul had put together a tarp (it was a rainy day) and enough stereo system equipment to enable a hip hop duo to perform. I only stayed for a few songs (or is ‘beats’ the correct terminology for hip hop?) that touched upon several Occupy-esque themes, including Free Love, Raging Against the Machine, Anti-Consumption Ranting and Socialist/Communist Motto Shouting.
After I finished at the office for the day, I took a peek at the impeccably suave occupydc.org website (it’s honestly almost corporate looking in its technical savvy…) and found out that the duo is called dead prez, made of two artists: stic.man and M-1. The duo was founded in New York City (also the birthplace of the Occupy movement – very appropriate). (Apparently another hip hop artist, Head-Roc, was also performing, but the combination of rain, angry looking youth, and disease-infested dreadlocks made me scurry back to the gleaming surfaces of the corporate world before they took the stage.) The occupydc.org website described the performance as intended to build awareness around the four Wal-marts slated for construction in DC. Well done, Occupy – I wouldn’t have been the wiser if not for the performance. Ironically, however, I admit I was sort of excited about the prospect of the stores’ arrival in the District – I’m looking forward to some good ol’ fashioned American-capitalist-competition to make sure the city’s one Target keeps its prices on consumer goodies low.
All in all, although I don’t agree with the stark divide the Occupy movement tries to draw between the 99% and 1% and the frustration I feel at their lack of a coherent message, I must say I enjoyed their music! I guess it’s something all 100% of us can get behind.